Bombardier and Hitachi launch legal challenge against TfL Tube contract

Hitachi and Bombardier have commenced landmark legal proceedings against TfL for its decision to award a contract to build Tube trains to Siemens.

Papers filed at the High Court over the weekend indicate that directors at Japan’s Hitachi and Canada’s Bombardier feel TfL did not follow the proper procurement process in its awarding of the £1.5bn contract to build 94 new-generation Tube trains for London’s Piccadilly Line.

TfL’s decision to award the contract to replace the ageing trains is part of the larger Deep Tube Upgrade Programme to create an extra 150 trains for the Central and Bakerloo lines of the Underground network.

Siemens’ offer was sweetened by the pledge to create a new £200m mobility factory in Goole, Yorkshire, which will employ up to 700 people in skilled engineering and manufacturing roles, plus an additional 250 people during the construction phase of the factory. By the completion of the factory, Siemens said, as many as 1,700 indirect jobs would be created throughout the UK supply chain.

But Bombardier and Hitachi, who have joined forces in a consortium for the TfL contract as well as the HS2 rolling stock bid, contested the decision to award the contract to Siemens by highlighting their own train assembly plants which are already built in Derby and County Durham.

In a statement, the consortium said: “We can confirm that we have issued claims in the High Court against London Underground Ltd’s decision not to select our consortium bid for the deep Tube upgrade programme.”

Further details of the legal action have yet to be released.

A spokesman for TfL said: “We have been notified that they have issued claim forms in the High Court. We will review these claims and will respond to them. We see no good basis for these claims to be issued and are disappointed that these companies have chosen to take this step.”

In 2011 Siemens controversially won the £1.6bn contract to provide trains for a Thameslink rolling stock deal where trains would be built in Germany.  The head of the division responsible for the funding of the stock says financing was a “key factor” for the German company winning the award.

TfL and Bombardier are currently working together to provide five more Elizabeth Line trains in a £70m deal.

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